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Risk of skin cancer in young people doubles with the use of sunbeds

25th July 2012

New research has warned that young people who use sunbeds almost double their risk of developing the most deadly form of skin cancer.

sunbed1

It is also feared that the risk increases by 20% for those who use a sunbed at any stage of their lives.

In 2010, 13,000 British people were diagnosed with malignant melanoma, which is now the fastest growing cancer in young people with the highest group being women in their 20s. The disease claims 2,000 lives a year in the UK.

And it is feared that tanning devices could be responsible for triggering malignant melanoma in more than 400 Britons each year, with 100 of them dying from the disease. The study estimated sunbeds lead to 3,500 cases of skin cancer and 800 deaths every year across Europe.

Data also shows that figures for people aged over 50 suffering melanoma has tripled in the last three decades, blamed on sunbed use and a boom in overseas holidays.

A study published in the British Medical Journal predicts a further rise if young people do not heed health warnings and the French team behind the alert say stronger action is need to get the message across.

Lead researcher Dr Mathieu Boniol of the International Prevention Research Institute, Lyon, France, said: “The burden of cancer attributable to sunbed use could further increase in the next 20 years because the recent, high usage levels observed in many countries have not yet achieved their full carcinogenic effects and because usage levels of teenagers and young adults remain high in many countries.”

 

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